DENGUE

Dengue fever is a serious illness caused by a virus, which is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. The mosquito transmits the disease by biting an infected person and then biting someone else. Occasionally the patient suffering from dengue may develop complications such as bleeding from the  nose, gums or skin. In rare instances, the patient suffering from dengue may develop shock.

FAQs

How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

The time between the bite of a mosquito carrying dengue virus and the start of symptoms averages from 4 to 6 days, with a range of 3–14 days.

What are the symptoms to suspect dengue?

Dengue should be suspected if you have a sudden onset of high fever, which could reach 39–40°C (103–105°F).

  • severe headache(mostly in the forehead),
  • pain behind the eyes,
  • body aches and pains,
  • skin rash
  • nausea or vomiting.
How is dengue diagnosed?

Apart from the clinical features, there are laboratory tests which can confirm dengue infection. The tests include antigen detection tests which are the earliest to become positive(dengue NS 1antigen), and antibody detection tests, which become positive after day 5 of the illness(dengue serology IgM and IgG).

is it possible to get dengue fever twice?

Yes. It is possible to get dengue more than once. There are four different strains (serotypes) of the dengue virus. If a person has suffered from one virus, there can be a repeat occurrence if a different strain is subsequently involved. Subsequent infections with different serotypes increases the risk of severe complications.

How does Aedes mosquito spread dengue?

White spotted body and legs and is easy to recognize. The Aedes aegypti mosquito mostly rests indoors,in closets and other dark places, and in cool and shaded places outdoors. The female mosquito lays her eggs in water containers.It breeds in clean water and has a flight range of only 100–200 m. The mosquito picks up the dengue virus after biting someone already infected with the virus.

Is dengue contagious?

Dengue is not contagious. It does not spread directly from person-to-person through physical contact. When an infected person is bitten by a mosquito, the mosquito might later bite other people. Therefore, patients should be protected against contact with mosquitoes.

What is mild dengue?

For every patient with symptoms and signs there may be four or five persons with either no symptoms or very mild symptoms.

Can dengue fever be treated at home?

Most patients with dengue fever can be treated at home. They should

  • take rest,
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • maintain a nutritious diet.
  • oral rehydration salts (commonly used in treating diarrhoea) should be taken. Sufficient fluid intake is very important.
What is the treatment for dengue?
  • Like most viral diseases, there is no specific cure for dengue fever.
  • Antibiotics do not help.
  • Paracetamol is the drug of choice to bring down fever and joint pain.

Other medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided since they can increase the risk of bleeding.

What are the possible complications of dengue?

The infection can become dangerous since it may damage the blood vessels causing leakage of blood fluid/plasma into various organs, completely broken blood vessels that cause bleeding.

The symptoms and signs of dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome(Severe forms of dengue) are related to damage to the blood vessels and low platelet count. Death can occur in some of these cases if they are not treated in time.

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